Staying positive in the office isn’t just about keeping your sanity – at the end of the day, having a more positive attitude will affect your overall health as well. Maintaining a positive outlook is good for your mental and physical health and will help increase your quality of life.
To help you fake it ’till you make it, here are ten ways to increase your positivity in the workplace, thereby increasing your overall happiness, efficiency and who knows, maybe even leading you to a promotion:
10 Easy Tricks for Keeping a Positive Outlook at Work
1. Create and Meet Small Goals.
Many of the goals that we set for ourselves are long-term so we only get to celebrate them every so often. But think about how great that feels and how naturally positive you become afterward. Wouldn’t it be great to feel that way all the time? Create tangible goals that you can reach each day and let yourself revel in the tiny successes as well as the larger ones. Did you make it through half the day without checking Facebook? Yay! Go check Facebook to celebrate!
2. Be More Organized.
Clean up your work space and be on top of everything with to-do lists. Being more organized will help your workday flow more smoothly, plus it will eliminate frustration that comes from not being able to find things, stuff falling off your desk, getting dried jelly on your hand when you touch the keyboard, etc. As the drummer from the Red Hot Chili Peppers noted, he can play drums better when his kit and cymbals are all shiny – when things look better, you perform better which makes you feel better.
3. Blame and Acceptance.
When somebody in the office messes up, treat them how you would want to be treated in that situation. Be the person that steps up and makes them feel better about themselves – everyone makes mistakes and the next time you do, don’t be surprised when this thoughtful gesture is returned. Help diffuse blame by not being the person to place it (within reason, of course) and always be willing to accept your own blame if you mess up. On the flip side of the same coin, accept your praise and let others know about your successes without bragging. For example, write up a case study and share it with your bosses.
4. Dig for a Deeper Meaning.
Chances are that if you’re working your dream job, you’re busy eating Twinkies and aren’t reading this. So, it’s safe to assume you might not be as connected to your job on a satisfying level as you could be. Try to find a sense of purpose in what you do – even the most menial jobs and tasks bring joy to some level of humanity. Think about the toilet paper manufacturer, whose sole product is meant for people to wipe themselves with. But think about what would happen if there were no toilet paper tomorrow – find how your work affects others and embrace it. This could be your clients, your community, your coworkers – anybody!
5. Celebrate Events.
Making your office more like a community will help everyone stay positive, not just you. Acknowledge birthdays and holidays, just as you would with your friends and family. Remember, everyone in the office is in it together – if you don’t want to be there, chances are others don’t as well. Bolster each other up and make the workday go by faster. If someone hit a milestone or bought their first house, arrange for a meet up after work if need be. But it’s not just personal events you can celebrate – bring a football to toss around in the park to celebrate the start of football season. Hold “Office Idol” when American Idol starts up. Get tacky and wacky if need be.
6. Do a Task Tuesday.
Every Tuesday, offer to do a task for one of your coworkers. It doesn’t have to be a big gesture, just take something off of their plate during your downtime. If someone struggles with a particular aspect of their job, offer to do it for them or at least show them a trick to help them along.
7. Get Rid of the Sarcasm.
While sarcasm seems natural to some of us, it can bring about negativity in others, especially if it is misunderstood. Challenge yourself to find something more clever or positive to say rather than making a snide remark. For example, instead of saying, “Corporate really hit a home run with this one!” say “How can we mitigate this so that even if it fails, it’s not on us?”
8. Tell People What You Feel.
There’s an old saying that goes, “Enemies stab each other in the back, friends do it from the front.” Don’t go around badmouthing people to your peers. Instead, talk it out with the person. This doesn’t mean you should attack them, but clearing the air and reaching an understanding promotes positivity where there would otherwise be negativity.
9. Count the Money.
Sometimes the only way to make it through an awful job is to use the extrinsic motivation factor, that is, getting paid. Break your paycheck down, is it really that bad? You just earned a dollar for listening to Bob talk about his kid’s for the umpteenth time. You just earned $20 for staring at a PowerPoint presentation. There are worse ways to make a living, think about what little you are getting paid to do and make a positive game out of it.
10. Make the Most of Your Time Away from the Office.
Finally, the best way to be positive about the office is to make every second you are outside of the office count. Do you think you will be more miserable on a Monday if you sat at home all weekend doing nothing or if you went out and had the time of your life? The first person will have nothing to look forward to next weekend, making the workweek trudge by with snail-like speed. The adventurous person will be so pumped and focused on making next weekend even better; the tasks of the day will fly by.